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Posted in March, 2017


ROSSEAU AND GRAVENHURST
FARMERS MARKETS
THREATENED BY MY BOOK

Both Markets Throw Me Out

WHY?

In 2013 I was banned from Gravenhurst Farmers Market. The directors took issue with my book Farmers Market, calling it “abusive, insulting, and slanderous.”

Thank you, Gravenhurst directors, for this superlative review.

Farmers Market is a crime story written in a humorous vein. Two ageing detectives, who imagine themselves to be Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson, are intent on solving a murder in cottage country. The trail leads to a dysfunctional co-called farmers market.

In 2014 the directors of Rosseau Farmers Market caught the Gravenhurst disease and followed suit by not accepting my application for that year.

Every summer I attend eight or nine farmers markets, four or five of them as a full-time vendor. Not one of these markets is the least concerned with my book Farmers Market. Indeed, the vendors often approve of it, sometimes buy it, and sometimes sign my petition.

Is it a question of genus?
When I think that a mere half chromosome separates us from chimpanzees, I can't help thinking that many of us wound up on the wrong side of the dividing line.

Chimpanzees are so close to us, that some sensitive souls want to see chimps admitted to the genus homo. But surely, shouldn’t it be the other way around? Instead of conferring on chimps the dignity of homo, we might consider taking it away from the dissemblers among us.

So, doubts involving the boundaries of the genus homo aside, what’s with the Rosseau and Gravenhurst directors?

The visitors to Muskoka farmers markets need to ask this question: Why does my book so irritate the directors of Rosseau and Gravenhurst?

Where is their sense of humour? Surely they do not imagine that the miserable specimens of directors in my book are somehow meant to represent their honourable selves?

I shudder at the thought.

And they say I’m bad for the markets.

Excuse me, isn’t that like saying that a book dealing with conflict of interest in the lives of certain members of the Canadian Senate is an attack on the Senate itself, or on the institution per se, instead of, in reality, being a plea for reform, and thus evidence of a respect for that institution?

This, of course, is a time-honoured tactic of power abusers. You’re not attacking me, you’re attacking the state, the nation, the people. How dare you! Throw him out!

So before you go ape over my words, please check things out for yourself. You can browse my book at Google. Go on—don't be lazy. Do it.

With very few exceptions, notably the eternal dinosaurs of the Gravenhurst board, and a couple of allies at Rosseau, the vendors of these two markets have never felt threatened by my book. Why should they? They understand very well that I am not attacking them. They understand very well that I am not attacking farmers markets.

Who does my book threaten, then?

Ah, if only we could call upon the great Sherlock Holmes to show us how it all fits together. It’s so awfully complicated—so complicated the local press is not up to unravelling it—even, I believe, understanding it. They have no capacity for investigation, even if they weren’'t blind to the indiscretions of their advertisers, and controlled from afar.

So much for this one-time pillar of democracy, this once-upon-a-time champion of justice.

Its a wicked world
My book is a crime story and, as such, it must have two detectives modelled on the prototypical investigative genius of all time, and his sidekick—namely, the venerable Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson, of excellent and enduring fame. (To be honest, Holmes stories are the only detective stories I will read, just as Jane Austin is the only romance writer I will read.)

Tiger Cohen is my Sherlock and Willy Fassbender my Watson. Picture them sitting by a cheery fire at their make-believe 221B Baker Street apartment. “Watson, these are deep waters,” says Holmes, taking a brand from the fire and applying it to his longest and most disputative pipe. Your little account of our latest adventure threatens only those in control. A handful of miscreants and their submissive directors manage these markets in their own interests, without regard for equity and law. Principle does not enter into it. To them, it's a foreign word. In plain English, they are selfish and uncaring, the very kind that make the world what it is. Holmes studies the fire and draws on his pipe. “Ah, Watson, this is a wicked world. The worst enemies of democracy are those who pretend to practice it, only to subvert it. If these were real co-operatives, the trouble makers would be exposed. They would be gone in disgrace from their respective markets...That would be justice. Nothing less.

But the critical Sherlock fan might retort: If matters were that easily decided, we would not be troubled with doubts over our relationship with our hairy tree-swinging cousins, would we?

COURT RULING
ROSSEAU DIRECTORS
NOT ABOVE THE LAW